Yoga has always appealed to me, getting the body stronger, leaner and more subtle and flexible is important. As a runner I always felt that yoga was a great complement – building core strength.
However, having taking part in multiple 10K races and two half marathons, my knees are not thanking me for the pavement pounding and the recurring back injury I’ve had since 2009 keeps coming back. This year it was worse than ever and I needed a whole week off work to recover, which when you’re working as a freelancer, is costly!
So I decided to take the plunge and go to Juliana Brazil Yoga for one-to-one yoga, to help fix and strengthen my body, to avoid further back problems, supporting my knees and also hip joint (which by now is also causing me some problems).
In a class environment, even the best of teachers cannot see everyone through every pose and position. However, in this class, there is no escape. We quickly discover my weaknesses and Juliana devises a programme to tackle my problem areas – my asana joint, pelvis and lower back.
The classes themselves are such a lovely experience, arriving at John Archer Hall the smell of incense in the air immediately relaxes. There’s a small space within the hall isolated by light floaty curtains and lined with full height mirrors and twinkly lights. As you enter the space you’re aware of the relaxing music in the background and as you take your socks off to join Juliana on one of the mats, you leave your week behind.
We’ve worked through a variety of poses and movements to build strength and increase flexibility in my problem areas. Nothing is off the list but Juliana takes her time to understand my current capabilities, adjusting the planned session as she goes to meet my needs.
After the first few weeks of one-to-one yoga I am already feeling stronger, but it’s important to note that you get out of it what you put in. As well as the one hour session every week I am also committing to training 3 or 4 times a week in my own time. Some weeks I’ve even done it daily as I give myself a half hour every morning to practice before breakfast.
I am really enjoying the classes too, they have helped me to focus on my needs and to commit time (unapologetically) to myself throughout the week. My back is feeling stronger, my hip is less weak and I feel I’m focusing on my posture, my stance and myself much more – an unintended benefit.
I’m also now starting to look at what I really want from my career and to consider my future more seriously. I’ve even booked onto several training courses recently, digital skills, mental health first aid, you name it!
I wonder if everybody should do this for a while, just think what might happen for you?